|THIS IS NOT OKAY|
I debated posting the piece below with myself. I wondered if it came to close to equating anti-zionism with anti-semitism, was it going overboard? Then, I thought to myself, what the hell am I debating. Jew hatred is a growing phenomena again pretty much world wide, and I am going to debate doing a piece on it, just because it pertains more to the left then to the right?
Don't get me wrong. I am not one of those who think the main danger Jews face is from the left. Look to the Ukraine, look to nazi marches last week in France and Britain, look to the nazis I, and many, many others challenged last fall here in my town. Look at the fundamentalist Christians who support Israel but have no real use for Jews (except to fulfill their weird prophesies). Look at the reactionary fundamentalist Muslims who target Jews at random. No, the main danger to Jews will always come from the right. The vast majority of the left will figure it out...
But not always.
For example, virtually any time I post an article about Jew hatred someone, somewhere calls me a zionist. If I post anything about Israel not being a nazi State, someone will accuse me of being an agent of the Mossad. No, they don't call me a dirty Jew, but I know where they are coming from. I obviously make a distinction between anti-zionism and Jew hatred, just as I make a distinction between zionism and Jews. My history, which I won't repeat here for the hundredth time, my history of action on behalf of the Palestinian People, my history of work with Palestinians (alongside, I might add, sometimes Israeli Jews as well), my history of condemnation of zionism and the State of Israel's racist and oppressive policies, my history of struggle against all forms of racism and white supremacy go back nearly five decades now. I don't have to prove anything... yet, yet, it seems that I often do.
Why is that?
Why don't people get that using nazi like cartoons of Jews (er zionists) with big noses and evil eyes are not okay? Why don't they get that using Jewish symbols and equating them with nazi symbols is not okay? Why don't people get that rich capitalist Jews are rich capitalist who happen to be Jews, just like rich capitalist Methodists are rich capitalist who happen to be Methodists? Why do so many not get that Netanyahu, Sharon, and all the rest are leaders of a zionist state who are Jews...they are not all Jews and they don't represent the thinking of all Jews (or even all Israelis) anymore than Osama Ben Laden or the Royal family in Saudi Arabia represent all Muslims, etc., etc., etc? Why do I always have to explain that I, for one, did not come from a wealthy Jewish family, as if because I am a Jew that must not be so? No one demands that of Episcopalians.
Now, I am not wa waing. I do not believe Jews, for example, in the USA are an oppressed minority. Jews in the USA, in my book, have pretty much unfortunately joined the White Republic, just like the Irish, the Italians, and all the rest. Is there Jew hatred in the USA? Sure, but it is far from the same thing, not even close, to the white supremacist bull that people of color, especially African Americans face every single day in every single way. Consequently, while I do spend some time fighting Jew hatred, I spend far, far more time fighting white supremacy.
I also do not feel that being a Jew means you can't be criticized, anymore than being a women, a gay, an African American, a Buddhist, or anything else means you can't be criticized. However, I also feel you should not ever be criticized simply because you are a Jew or an African American, or any of the others mentioned above. That seems fairly simple, but for some people it seems impossible.
Anyway, it is a shame I feel compelled to even introduce this piece below from the New Statesman with this sort of introduction, but such is life. Like I said, I can deal with it.
However, me dealing with it is not the same as a Jew in the Ukraine dealing with it (in fact, I just advised a Jewish friend who is heading to the Ukraine to be careful there, told him the Ukraine has never been a good place for Jews, told him of the rising tide of fascism and nazi like Jew hatred going on right there right now) . So, yes, me dealing with it, does not mean that I don't find the rise of Jew hatred, fascism, and nazism just a wee bit scary. Me dealing with it does not mean I am blind to the fact that some of what passes for anti-zionism IS Jew hatred, or that some of the conspiracy crap I wrote about during the Occupy movement was Jew hatred barely disguised, if at all. Me dealing with it, also, does not mean that I didn't appreciate the reaction of the majority in the Occupy movement who spoke out against such Jew baiting. Me dealing with it does not mean, I do not recognize that most left anti-zionism is just that - anti-zionism and not Jew hatred.
Me dealing with it also does not mean that I will spend any less time dealing with the reactionary Jewish nationalism known as Zionism and the ideology and policies and actions of the State it has created...just like a myriad of other Jews, I might add.
Felt compelled again to say that...